New rules that come in to effect this year in New Hampshire requires anyone working with children (Youth Skills Programs) to be subject to a criminal background check. Rules apply to any volunteer and/or paid staff who works for 3 consecutive days or longer and also to those who are below 18 years of age.

James Martin (Department of Environmental Services) commented even volunteers and paid staff under 18 must also be subject to a background check. The new rules take effect as of January 1st and are as a result of the passing of a law in 2014.

The new law applies just as much to school vacation camps, arts, theater and music as it does to traditional Summer camps. The law will and can impact broadly on thousands of people. He further commented that the state police as well as a number of private companies will carry out fee driven background checks.

The DES division monitoring youth camps advised that if the new laws requiring background checks are flouted there will be, for every offence, a maximum $2000 administration fine. If the background check hadn’t been addressed the greater penalty is representative of civil liability if an adverse situation arises

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